Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reading PDFs on Kindle and Converting documents for free

Good morning Kindle fans! (and skeptics :)

I think a post removing what seem to be some very popular misconceptions about the Kindle is in order.

1) You CAN read PDFs on Kindle, albeit only after having Amazon convert then for you or converting them yourself to PRCs using Mobipocket's Creator software which is freeware.

To quote Amazon's help page:

Converting PDF Files
PDF conversion is experimental. The experimental category represents the features we are working on to enhance the Kindle experience even further. You can email your PDFs wirelessly to your Kindle. Due to PDF's fixed layout format, some complex PDF files might not format correctly on your Kindle.
You can download the Mobipocket creator here. In my experiments it created a well formatted PRC file out of a complex PDF with images. It was very readable.

2) There seems to be a way to have Amazon convert DOC and other formats into the native Kindle format (AZW) for FREE. Again, to quote the Kindle Help page from Amazon.

Delivery to Your Amazon.com Account E-mail Address

If you are not in a wireless area or would like to avoid the ten-cent fee, you can send attachments to "name"@free.kindle.com to be converted and e-mailed back to your computer at the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com account. You can then transfer the document to your Kindle using your USB connection.

So there, I hope that was helpful to you. Let the games begin!

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can add a *wireless* SD card to the Kindle, the kind with say 1-2GB of flash memory addressable wirelessly. And go to town with the "@free" conversions, without ever having to plug in your device.

Aarjav Trivedi said...

anonymous: Interesting!

njustn said...

I don't know if you're reading these, but I can go you one better on converting PDF files. You can convert PDF files and MAINTAIN FORMATTING.

if you send an image based PDF file to the converter address, amazon will split each page in half horizontally, and display it as a single page rotated 90 degrees on the kindle. I've used this method to read several scientific papers at this point. The key is that it has to be an image based pdf, as in, non-searchable. Since most PDFs aren't like that, a great way to use this is to get imagemagick and use the following command

convert -density 120x120 [searchable].pdf out.pdf

which will produce an image based PDF file from the searchable pdf file given. Then just send that through and read away! I was about 2 minutes away from returning the kindle when I found this, but I'm pretty sure it's here to stay now.

Ajju said...

njustn - That's an EXCELLENT tip. I will update this post tonight and quote you! Thanks!

njustn said...

No problem, I thought you might like that, and am pretty sure it'll be useful for others like me reading complex pdfs all the time. Also created a thread for it over on mobileread which has yet to be approved but sometime soon I imagine.

Mike said...

Converting complicated pdf file to kindle format which mainly consists of tables and images is quite tough as Amazon is still in experimental stage to make it perfect, but very recently I came across one website which provide ebook conversion service along with kindle ebook conversion at very affordable rates, mostly for the PDF ebook which consists of tables and images which are quite tough to convert them to ebook format such as mobipocket, kindle or MS reader, but I have found that the above ebook conversion company converts these type of ebooks in more profession and efficient way at very reasonable rate.

Flash Sheridan said...

> get imagemagick and use the following command
> convert -density 120x120 [searchable].pdf out.pdf

This gives me an error after installing ImageMagick on Mac OSX. It looks like you also have to install GhostScript (at least), which in turn requires (at least) a jpeg library.

Flash Sheridan said...

> amazon will split each page in half
> horizontally, and display it as a
> single page rotated 90 degrees on the kindle.

How did you get the pages to split? Neither Amazon nor Mobipocket Creator did this for me, and it makes the output pretty much unreadable, since they shrink the text to fit to the height of the page. Text was totally unreadable until I started using ImageMagick’s -trim option. Fiddling with -resize and -adaptive-resize didn't seem to help.

(BTW, I got ImageMagick to install on my Mac using MacPorts; the binary distributions seemed to have faulty dependencies, and the error reporting was unhelpful.)

njustn said...

The page is only split at a point where nothing is in the way, so on a full page of just text, right at the middle, but if there is a full page image, it will not split it. Usually that's good behavior actually, because it means it wont split a graph, but for things like comic books, manga, or things which have an image background or border it's a problem I have not yet found a solution for.

Terribleted66 said...

Has someone figured out how to read 'passworded' PDFs on the kindle? I have quite a few text books that would be great to carry around in my kindle.

davel said...

I could only see half-page portrait-mode (did not rotate 90 degrees). The PDF files are text only. Followed the instructions as given. Please help.

Jack said...

I have found the customer support for the Kindle lacking a bit. The other day I did find a new website called Kindlehelpdesk.com which actually has a lot of the information about the kindle consolidated. I hope more sites offer help like this one.

Henry said...

Has anyone actually been able to get the imagemagick solution to work??

"convert -density 120x120 [searchable].pdf out.pdf"

I just get error messages that the either the input file or image file doesn't exist.

I'm using ImageMagick-6.4.1-Q16 on Windows XP.

Seems like it should be straightforward...

jacksmith said...

Hello Mike, I am reluctant to the company you provided www.kindleconversion.com for the kindle conversion they provide best service.

Anonymous said...

The ImageMagick solution is clever. For those of you who want to split pages in half with manga and such, you should take a look at the ImageMagick draw command. Here is a place that you can check out for a quick solution: http://www.scri8e.com/IM_Tutor/draw.html.

To answer another post, I suggest NOT using macports to install ImageMagick on a mac. Try the following solution: http://onrails.org/articles/2007/11/03/installing-rmagick-on-leopard-without-macports-or-fink. Ignore the fact that it is a rails tutorial. It will cover what you need. If you decide to go this route, please read jims comment on substituting the curl -O command for wget. Or if you feel really daring, you can install wget from source as well (which does not require much more than a ./configure and sudo make install). Also keep in mind that for non-programmers, the last command to be run on that page is "sudo gem install RMagick". YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO THIS. In fact, I feel it is a bad idea even as a programmer to start putting self built files wherever the os wants to put them. Anyhow, thanks for the write up. I am still trying to decide on getting a kindle or not. I'm sure it would be a no-brainer if they had more tech titles and offered free blog downloads rather than a monthly fee.

Also, as a note, I have used ImageMagick for a long time now and keep my version up to date. I have a friend that used the site above to install on 10.5 and he had no problems at all. If you do not feel comfortable at all on the command line, I suggest learning a bit more before you start issuing commands you do not understand. Basically, you can mess up your system badly if you run commands without checking them out first. Finally, please do NOT EVER run the following command as sudo or when logged in as root "rm -rf /". Never do this if someone tells you to. Never!

Taowinist said...

I listen to text, wordfiles and pdfs converted into mp3s. Have you found any way to convert a kindle file into any of these formats? I'd gladly pay for the kindle files. I just have much more time to listen than read.

Anonymous said...

When you can send attachments to "name"@free.kindle.com to be converted, how do you get the meta data to convert correctly? The title of the file becomes the title displayed on the Kindle, but the author becomes my email address, rather than the author of the book. That will cause some major sorting issues.

Bill P said...

I just created a new website where you can post text documents that can be directly downloaded via the kindle's wireless connection for free. It is located at www.kindlecreek.com Currently in a growing stage, there you can access directly from your Kindle's web interface under "Experimental". The site is set up Kindle friendly for viewing and access. Anyone with a document or textual work that they would like to make available for other Kindle users to read, please email your text or word doc and I will gladly post it to the site.

email to publish@kindlecreek.com

Also started a related yahoo group called KindleCreek. Check it out. Open for all suggestions and comments.

Anonymous said...

HSPA modem in the kindle:
http://ikindle3gs.eu/

Anonymous said...

HI
I am a new Kindle2 owner and want to know the best way to accomplish this:

I would like to read and annotate and highlight articles on the Kindle and then bring the articles back to my pc. I am using ENDNOTE to manage my citations. Ideally, I would like to be able to view my annotations and highlights on my pc and be able to attach the file to my endnote citation manager.

Is this possible? What do I need to have on my pc to accomplish this.

thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.
Fran

Kindle said...

Hi! I'm from argentina and I want one for christmas ¿can I to put it text in japanesse to this ebook the kindle dx ? I have very much book in my computer ,my question is ¿Can I to put it in the kindle of form ilegal ? Please answer me my email is jakmontes @yahoo.com.ar I wait yours answers

Anonymous said...

Wow Great Offer coupon kindle

Anonymous said...

wow i like coupon kindle

Anonymous said...

clarisonic discount

Traci said...

I am trying to send a jpeg to my kindle for viewing and it doesn't seem to work?

I've created my "name@free.kindle.com" account which is linked to my "name@gmail.com" account. I sent the jpeg attachment from my "name@gmail.com" account to my "name@free.kindle.com" account, and I've received a reply email in my "name@gmail.com" account mentioning that I have sent the jpeg file to your Amazon Kindle free conversion account at no charge and that I can download the jpeg file and then transfer the file by connecting Kindle to your computer over USB.

When I connect to my Kindle via USB to the computer, the jpeg file doesn't automatically show within any of the Kindle removable drive folders? I then tried manually dragging the converted (.azw) file which I downloaded to my desktop into the Kindle removable drive's "documents" folder and disconnecting my Kindle so that I can sync but nothing shows up in the Kindle's archive folder?

What am I doing wrong? Does anybody know what I need to do to retrieve this jpeg file on my Kindle?

Traci said...

I am trying to send a jpeg to my kindle for viewing and it doesn't seem to work?

I've created my "name@free.kindle.com" account which is linked to my "name@gmail.com" account. I sent the jpeg attachment from my "name@gmail.com" account to my "name@free.kindle.com" account, and I received a reply email to my "name@gmail.com" account mentioning that I have sent the jpeg file to your Amazon Kindle free conversion account at no charge and that I can download the jpeg file and then transfer the file by connecting Kindle to your computer over USB.

When I connect to my Kindle via USB to the computer, the file doesn't show in the documents folder within the removable drive? I then tried manually dragging the converted (.azw) file into the Kindle removable drive's "documents" folder and then disconnected my Kindle so that I can sync but nothing shows up in the Kindle's archive folder?

What am I doing wrong? Does anybody know what I need to do to retrieve this jpeg file on my Kindle?

Anonymous said...

kindle coupon

seomedicine said...

This post is really much more useful for the people who believe that these days if we have to go with the contemporary era then knowledge is the most important piller in each and every area.Kindle Coupons

Dana said...

Is this blog still active??

Anonymous said...

You can create a DE-PASSWORDED version of a PASSWORDED pdf: Get PrimoPdf from download.com and install it. Next open your passworded PDF. Now PRINT it to a new non-passworded PDF file using PrimoPDF as your "printer". You're welcome.

PS use the Prepress setting for a high quality dupe.

dan rogy said...

Recently I have bought a book-reader...it's amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!


* Electronic-paper display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper.
* No computer, no cables, no syncing.
* Wireless connectivity - you shop the Kindle Store directly from your Kindle from anywhere, just like using a cell phone! When you buy a book, it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute.
* More than 88,000 books available, including 100 of 112 current New York Times® Best Sellers. Free book samples. Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.
* Read top U.S. newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; read top magazines including TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes — all auto-delivered wirelessly. Read top international newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland; Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times.
* Read more than 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics, including BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN's Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and The Huffington Post.
* eBook device is lighter and thinner than a typical paperback; weighs only 10.3 ounces and holds over 200 titles.
* Long battery life. Leave wireless on and recharge approximately every other day. Turn wireless off and read for a week or more before recharging. Fully recharges in 2 hours.
* Unlike WiFi, Kindle utilizes the same high-speed data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phones, you never have to locate a hotspot. No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments — Amazon.com takes care of the wireless delivery so you can simply click, buy, and read. Includes free wireless access to the planet's most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia—Wikipedia.org.
* Email your Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG) to Kindle for easy on-the-go viewing.


http://kindle2000.com

Pharasalia said...

I could never get the imagemagick thing to work either. I've been to many websites, downloaded many programs, and tried many things to try to make my complex pdfs readable on my kindle 3. The result is generally either a viewable but way too tiny to be usable pdf with images or a kindle readable one without images or otherwise messed up. Switching to landscape and using the zoom isn't workable unless you like reading by scrolling back and forth like a typewriter.

The only thing I have found to work is by opening my pdfs in a full version of adobe acrobat and making a few changes. I rotate the view 90 degrees and then crop out everything I can to get maximum zoom. Then after transferring to the kindle and opening, you'll see that you don't have to change the view on your kindle to landscape because the pages are already rotated, I just turn the kindle. This also allows me to use the kindle's zoom function without having to pan endlessly. The page is split in 2 horizontally so I only have to hit the scroll button down once to see the 2nd half of the page before turning. None of the irritating panning and its not too small for me to read.

Anonymous said...

Big bad publicity mistake on the part of Amazon!!!! The Kindle would have been a giant seller but someone thought they can screw everyone into buying converted files. Thats not Amazon thats Amazing! We returned all of our company Kindles and purchased the Nooks. A bit more expensive althogh much better user perks all around. In a world of PDF files that was a stupid design. Thats just my opinion.

Flatak said...

Thanks man! The name@free.kindle.com works perfectly!

Bolster said...

If you're a commandliner theres a quirk of MIME types that lets you send pdfs to your device in such a way that its properly converted to nice kindleable text, including font changing and text to speech. Disclaimer: Self Promotion http://wp.me/pKDYh-9Q

sweetie said...

you can convert any type of file you can view on your pc into a scalable file for your kindle simply by either 'save a text copy' (as with pdfs) or by cutting and pasting into notepad.

if you want to take a little time to remove the hard returns it will even out the text into manageable paragraphs too! (just remove the word wrap from notepad and each line will be one paragraph... easy to remove extra hard returns that way

jacksmith said...

believe me http://www.ebookconversion.com/ supports from start to end with all queries answered..

Venus Pollux said...

Here's a post on converting pdf to kindle withour a conversion program : goo.gl/ctknK

Siar said...

I know PDF can be converted to words, but I don't know it can also be converted to Kindle so easily.

pdf flip book software

Anonymous said...

The Calibre is a Free software which convertsPdf and doc/docx , htm/html files into >mobi or Epub formats.

Other than large image based documents and pdfs, this software works exceptionally well.

JEAN said...

Amazon is aiming to shake up the eBook reader market once again by announcing the the new generation reader , dubbed the Kindle So what can you expect to see when comparing the Kindle ? Here’s a detailed look. http://book-on-kindle.com
For anyone who is interested in the best of books should embrace the Amazon Kindle revolution, one that is changing the concept of interacting with a book itself. Finding cheap Amazon Kindle and accessories for sale, is your beginning to reading in a different way.

Reynaldo Rivas said...

Hi. This service here allows you to easily and effectively edit, upload or download fillable PDF forms.
http://goo.gl/U40osx

You can fill out PDF form, save it, fax it, and email it.

Victor luice said...

Converting complicated pdf file to kindle format which mainly consists of tables and images is quite tough as Amazon is still in experimental stage to make it perfect, but very recently I came across one website which provide ebook conversion service along with kindle ebook conversion at very affordable rates, mostly for the PDF ebook which consists of tables and images which are quite tough to convert them to ebook format such as mobipocket, kindle or MS reader, but I have found that the above ebook conversion company converts these type of ebooks in more profession and efficient way at very reasonable rate.

Anonymous said...

electronic cigarettes, buy electronic cigarette, electronic cigarette, ecigs, best electronic cigarette, electronic cigarette starter kit

Rozza Jullie said...

Hello everyone! If you need a good online program to convert pdf files to epub or mobi formats for a better reading experience, I suggest to try this one http://kitpdf.com/. It offers fast results and there's easy to use.